So you’ve got yourself a metal detector and you’re raring to get out there and start hunting when suddenly it dawns on you that you know absolutely nothing about the legalities of where you can detect and you have no permissions or land to go treasure hunting on.
Every country is different with its laws on metal detecting and where you can do it. As we are a UK site I will be explaining more about the UK laws and where you can go metal detecting in the UK.
For now, if you have arrived looking for information on a country outside of the UK and it’s laws then start here
Finding a place to go metal detecting can be one of the most frustrating things about the hobby. Never fear though there is always somewhere to go.
Below you will find a list of ideas of where to go metal detecting and more information about each.
Everyone has them, friends, families, relatives and even yourself. The beauty of Gardens is over the years people have spent much time in them. If you’re lucky enough to live or know someone with an old house with a lot of history then you’ve got a great place to detect.
Over the years people will have dropped things, lost things or even intentionally buried things in the Garden.
As a beginner, it’s also a great place to start out and get to know your metal detector better.
You can even perform tests by burying different items to see how your detector behaves, what sounds it makes or even what reading it displays.
Previously you could apply for a Crown Estate metal detecting permit however this has now been brought to a halt and you no longer need permission to go on the Crown-owned beaches.
You will, however, have to check before you go to the nearest beach as some are not included.
A good place to check is here on the maps.
Please note that the Crown estate permit never did include riverbanks, the seabed or other Crown-owned land.
Beaches can be fun however they also can be full of trash. Over the decades a lot of time has been spent on the beach by holidaymakers, dog walkers and such like.
A lot of things have been dropped including a lot of litter, unfortunately.
This being said the beach is still a great place to metal detect.
Try to get there early mornings if it’s in the sunshine months to avoid the crowds and you may find you need a sand sieve.
Woodland & Public paths
All woodland & Public paths are owned by somebody, just because the word public is present does not mean it belongs to us. It just means there has been permission given to use it.
If you have found an area of woodland or a “public path” you will need to research who the land belongs to and then approach for permission. There are many websites on the internet that will allow you to do this.
Public paths and woodland again have been used heavily over the years. Hundreds of years of people walking up and down them, walking their dogs or exploring the woods and camping. Research is always key as the path may have moved slightly over the years or the woodland may not have even existed.
I’ve always found the edges of the paths to be the most fruitful.
The best place for metal detecting but also probably the hardest to get. It takes time and perseverance and a lot of confidence. Farmers are very protective of their land so you will face a lot of rejection.
Don’t give up.
The more you ask the more chance you have of one saying yes.
Most farmers have hundreds, if not thousands of acres.
So one permission could last you a lifetime.
The majority of the best finds including hoards and important artefacts have been found in the middle of a farmer’s fields. The ploughs used also often bring finds that would have been too deep to discover closer to the surface.
I’ve always found the best approach to be face to face with the farmer, however, if you are less confident then you can make a phone call or write a letter.
Raleigh’s & Clubs
If you’re truly stuck for somewhere to go metal detecting and you enjoy socialising and getting to know other metal detecting hobbyists. Check out your local metal detecting club, or make a simple search on Facebook there are so many to choose from.
These clubs organise permissions with farmers and then charge a small fee for a day out metal detecting. Usually, the prices range from £10 – £20 for the whole day.
The benefits of joining these are usually the club have researched the land and gained only the best permissions and virgin land.
Who knows you may find some new great friends along with interesting artefacts.
Parks, Commons & Council land
A grey area as each Council is different. This does not mean however they have no land or parks for you to detect on.
Write to your local council and ask the question, I know there are a few out there that allow it. However, some do not.
If you can get permission, some of the land is great for detecting. Parks and commons especially. These have been used over the years to hold events, fairs, fetes and such.
Some councils are strictly against metal detecting yet some will allow it providing you follow all procedures of the treasure act.
What you need to know is there is always somewhere to go with your metal detector. The hobby at times can be quite disheartening as all you want to do is get out there and hunt for treasure.
Don’t give up and contact as many landowners as possible.
Be creative, spend time researching and look for permissions that others perhaps would not think of. The metal detecting hobby is ever-growing and there are many people out there with a lot of permissions. Make some friends, go to raleighs and club events meet other detectorists. Word of mouth has always been the best way to obtain land to metal detect on.
If you have any other ideas or more helpful information to add to this article please feel free to leave a comment.